Monday, October 31, 2005

Monsoon rains approach

We may, in the very near future, be in need of gumboots! The monsoon rains have slowly started their build up and in late October, we had three continuous days’ of late afternoon heavy downpours that left both streets that run to our house ankle deep in water. On one evening, the taxi driver who took us home refused to drive all the way to our house and unceremoniously dumped us in the mud to negotiate the remainder of the way by foot in the dark without any streetlights!

Our Teva sandals will see us through to the height of the rainy season in December, but as five times as much rain falls then, we have been told that ankle soon becomes calf, which becomes knee-deep water!

The streets in our neighbourhood are unpaved and with no drainage and sewerage systems, the ground can only absorb so much. Evaporation plays a part but not even the hot Dili sun can evaporate all the water once the rains come daily. The morning after a heavy deluge, we are left with huge mud pools for streets that are becoming more and more difficult to negotiate. I have become so concerned that I have worried that we will be trapped in our house with no way in or out!

I wondered briefly if it would be better to walk, bare footed but then again, there are often rusty nails and bits of demolished roads and buildings, not to mention diseases around our walking tracks so that it probably isn't a very good idea. Then we thought gumboots! When I asked my Tetun tutor where I might purchase a pair, he just laughed and said, “like farmers wear?” If we can’t find them in Dili (given there are no farmers living in the capital) we might have to get them sent from Australia.

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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